I have come to realize that one of the most significant issues in our world today is not a poverty of money, but a poverty of dignity.
We in business have played a large role in creating this famine. You see this when people are left out of the equation in business, when it becomes solely about value creation and people are used as objects for success.
When we treat people as who they are – someone’s precious child – and create opportunities through which they can realize their potential and be appreciated for it, we feed the hunger for dignity, and hopefully begin to restore it.
Leadership, Truly Human Leadership, has the power to change the world when leaders assume their awesome responsibility: To provide the care and inspiration and support that every precious human being needs to become everything he or she was meant to be.
This is how business can be a powerful force for good, by caring enough about their people that they honor and protect-- restore if needed--the sense of dignity that is a basic human need.
We at Barry-Wehmiller recognized the value of Truly Human Leadership several years ago. We also realized that this kind of leadership was not being taught. So, we took it into our own hands to establish an internal university to teach our people the leadership skills needed to nurture those within their span of care.
Seeing the impact that Barry-Wehmiller University had on the lives of our teammates – not just in the workplace, but at home as well – my wife Cynthia and I formed a non-profit, The Chapman Foundation for Caring Communities and its Our Community Listens program, to bring those skills to communities all over the world. Later, our company formed Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute to bring our leadership principles to other businesses.
However, we know that all our initiatives are a way of trying to stop the bleeding and hurt in the world and cure an existing problem. How do we avoid the problem from occurring? How can we develop a vaccine for the poverty of dignity?
The answer lies in education.
What if Truly Human Leadership was taught and ingrained in the consciousness of future leaders, before they are placed in a position of harming lives because they lack the tools to lead?
And what if caring and empathetic leadership was not just taught in universities and business schools, but to children in grade school and secondary schools?
Education could be the key to begin to eradicate the poverty of dignity. At the very least, it could greatly lessen its reach.
Several of my grandchildren have attended Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, NC. A few years ago, after several of the faculty read my book, Everybody Matters, I became involved in their efforts to institutionalize leadership development in the everyday lives of their students.
Ann Brock, Charlotte Latin’s Director of Student Leadership Development, has even utilized much of the curriculum of Our Community Listens in their efforts.
I am greatly encouraged by Charlotte Latin’s efforts to train tomorrow’s leaders with the principles of caring leadership. They are a model of how communities could be transformed around the world. Imagine the impact it could have on so many lives! Think of the souls that could be fed and dignity regained.
On this episode of our podcast, Ann Brock talks about Charlotte Latin’s efforts to develop young leaders. It is an inspiring conversation that shows the possibilities of what can result when we teach Truly Human Leadership.
Leadership is a founding principle of Charlotte Latin, it's one of our core values, and we really believe that all students have the ability to lead, found it to be a myth that you're a born leader. And so I was part of the creation of an experiential education program, about eight years ago, I guess, where I was brought in from a role I had at a local university, through part of the university of North Carolina system, to do some work with students to reduce the amount of competition we were seeing in our middle school, with what we call intermurals. Just between advisories, advisories being 10 to 12 students with an adult leader. To reduce the competition and increase the collaboration.
And one of the things we did with that, and I came in as a parent volunteer to the committee, and then was ultimately hired to found the program, and it's called Hawks Quest, but experiential education is learning by doing. Doing something in a group, learning how to actualize the experience, and connect it to your real life through reflection. So we actually built the challenge course right here on campus, and it's a fairly unique aspect, a ropes or a course or a challenge course, we have a low and a high course. And so the experiential ed program began in our middle school, grades six through eight, where we were taking students out, and we still do this, out on our challenge course, and work with them through team building, trust building, bonding, learning about decision-making, learning some things about conflict resolution, learning how to collaborate.
And it was one of the first places that we noticed through this team-building endeavor that listening was such a core component. We also had a platform and this came from our 2010 to 2015 strategic plan, to create a leadership development program at Latin. And so we partnered with the center for creative leadership, which is a global group, but it's actually based out in our backyard in Greensboro, North Carolina. And they helped us define, and by us I mean a team of us represented by students, trustees, faculty, our head of school, administrators, to define what leadership meant to Charlotte Latin. Which is hard, leadership is tough, leadership's fluid. Now you walk around my school and ask folks what leadership means, and we could tell you that it's a core value, but I think it's a very personal response based on your own experience.
But we recognized through a lot of work, and a lot of interviews, a lot of engaging sessions with a large amount of people in small groups, where they were able to verbalize what attributes and values mean around leadership at Latin. And we created a program called Latin Leads with Honor, and it's represented through four focus areas. Honor above all is our honor code, and it's a visual that hangs above every door at our school. And it's a symbolism of a really deep and embedded philosophy around honor. And so Leads with honor was a natural arm from that. And the four focus areas are honors self, honors others, honors learning, and honors leading. So within those four focus areas, we have leadership attributes that we teach.
And so Latin Leads with Honor is now inculcated in our entire school. We program in the second grade, all the way through our seniors. And it looks different developmentally, it's different for each level, and not only each division, if you will, but also for each grade. And these attributes are scaffolded through our teaching. And so it's turned into a wonderful program and we have now taken, and just opened, a leadership center that we named the Macintosh Leadership Center after our former head of school who retired two years ago, he'd been at Latin for 18 years. And we have some very intentional programming in here accessible to all grades and constituents, and I can tell you more about that, but so now I'm the director of Latin Leads with Honor, Charlotte Latin's leadership development program.
So the Leads with Honor program, is that just part of curriculum, is it a special pullout class? How is that integrated into the day-to-day?
So that's a great question, because it's the opposite of what you would expect. Because leadership is so integrated to our school, it is a core value as I said, and we believe that every student has the capacity to lead. And really the way we define it as that, we challenge them to make a positive difference in our school. So we're talking about citizen leadership and civility, not positional leadership. In fact, it's the opposite of positional leadership. It's the ability to lead in situations, the ability to lead just as a citizen, and a part of being in our community as well as beyond. And the one thing we knew we could not do is create an add on where faculty needed to be trained, or staff needed to be trained, instead it needed to be woven into the DNA of the school.
So it's not something that a student, or a faculty member, necessarily needs to learn. We do teach lessons, but instead it's a bridge, it's a connection. So in our lower school, for instance, our Leads with Honor program is taught [inaudible] special, which means that it's not necessarily a core academic that has been created to balance the core academics. And so we teach through initiatives, where we focus on specific attributes that we want the students to learn. So it's almost teaching leadership without saying the word leadership. We use words like courage, we use words like humility, and we talk about self-awareness, solid leadership is rooted in self-awareness.
In our middle school, we teach through our challenge course, but we also connect that within academics, and in this coming year, we're going to teach our very first middle school leadership class, we're calling it a leadership lab. And we also have some co-curricular endeavors in the middle school. And then our upper school, it's almost co-curricular. We have things like a Student Athlete Leadership Team, we call it SALT, where a junior and senior from each of our 40 varsity teams is part of a monthly engagement. Where they learn initiatives around concerns, issues, challenges that they have within their teams and within athletics, and then go back and lead those activities.
We have a group called Hawks Lead, and it's a group of juniors and seniors that actually go into our lower school in our third grade, and lead activities around self-awareness and curiosity. And so while we do teach lessons, in many cases, particularly in lower school, it's initiative based. The kids think they're having fun, but then that reflection aspect, which is the core component of any experiential endeavor, is led and tailored by an adult, and then the conversation ensues with the students. Does that make sense?
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, tell me some of those stories from the initiatives, flesh that out a little bit more for us?
So, I'd say in the lower school, gosh, the stories abound. So can be teaching a second grader through some puzzle cubes. So we have some initiatives where we would teach a second grader how to put cubes together to form a specific picture, an image would be a better word, to form a specific image. And as they do that, they may recognize that it's either hard or easy, it's something that they need help with. And so we start teaching them about perspective, what does it look like when you put it together? What does it look like when someone else puts it together? How can you describe it? And so we might focus on a word like responsibility, which is a leadership attribute. And what is your responsibility if you're trying to describe that? So a second grader might look up, and tell us that, "I learned how to be patient."
They might be putting the cubes together, and they think that they've got it, and they realized they're wrong. And so they learn how to be patient, which pays often other aspects of their life, we might lead them through a discussion on what does it mean to be patient. In the third, curiosity is one of our leadership attributes that we teach. And it's really fun to see the light bulb go off. So they'll recognize that curiosity is really important, if you're studying, you know, why would you be an astronaut? Why would you want to be curious in a profession? And so a student might look up and tell us that they're learning how to be curious, they're learning how to wonder, and that they don't mind wondering aloud. That they'll tell you stories in order to garner information, but also to create commonalities within their classmates, or their classrooms.
So they might find that by being curious, by having a conversation with another classmate, that they have things in common that they never knew. So, it creates cohesion, but it really builds relationships. It teaches them to go out on the playground, and hang out with a group that they might not have hung out with in recess. It might have them sit with someone that they didn't sit with on the bus prior to being curious. They might find that they have things in common, as simple as their favorite ice cream, or that they like donuts, or it might be that they prefer the mountains to the beach, and they can have a conversation, and then that again creates relationships.
In our fourth grade, one of my favorite activities that we've done with them is we teach them how to talk using a manipulative that they hold and they wind it together, so ultimately when it's completed, it looks like a movie real, an old fashioned movie reel, and they have to talk and turn at the same time. So as they do that, the other person has to listen, and we teach them the non-verbals, that you need to be attentive, that you need to be looking at the person who's talking to you. You need to be interested, and ultimately once they finish, you can ask questions. And again, a lot of that is defined through things that they have in common. And we might hear a student say, "You taught me how to find my voice, you taught me how to look at things differently, and to listen to other people differently." That that would help them inside and outside of the class.
Had a little girl tell me in the fall when she was doing this, that it taught her how to be brave, that she didn't really think she could talk. It might be maybe two minutes, which would not be very long for an adult, but to teach a child how to be brave and find her voice simply by taking a piece of webbing and coiling it is pretty profound. And then when you ask a group like that, "What did you find you had in common with your partner?" And they start telling you things that even they would never have figured out if you, you know, pretty much forced the conversation, they're learning how to be quiet and listen. And to care. So that whole listening, to care, to understand, to learn, versus to respond, is something that we're teaching at a really young age.
A fifth grade example might be a game that we've done with cards, where they have to, I don't know if you can imagine that old number slide, it's a little handheld device, it has 11 numbers, and the 12th space is open, and you have to manipulate the numbers around with your thumb to see if he can put them in order. If you put four students around the table, and they've got 11 cards in front of them, and you're asking them to put them in order, you're able to teach perspective. Like which way are we going to do it? Are we going to go up down? Are we going to go diagonal? Are we going to go around in a circle? How are we going to do it?
And so for a student who's in the fifth grade to understand that their opinion, or their perspective is not the only one, you know, they'll come back and tell us that it's taken them out of their comfort zone, they really felt like they needed to be the person in charge. And they're learning that if they're not in charge, and they're listening and pay attention, that being able to collaborate on an initiative like that, it makes it more effective. So we teach collaboration to be using the unique skills of each individual. Cooperation is simply working together, and we cooperate all the time. But collaboration actually teaches them, that they each get to use their own skills, their own unique skills to accomplish a task together. Does that help?
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
And that's just last week.
[Inaudible] perspective in the fourth grade. We teach perspective as being a point of view, it's a four word definition and each person has a different perspective. And so if you give them an activity where they are forced to look at it through the lens of someone else, then that also leads to empathy. And if you can put yourself in someone else's shoes and kind of go beyond that and think, and be as they are, then they really do sort of learn how to be more present. And again, that builds relationships.
And everything I've just said to you, I've said without using the word leadership. And so we like to honor that, we like to say, "I saw you being curious, I saw you being strategic, I saw how self-aware you were today." And use those moments to teach, and then maybe connect it to social studies or history or the novel they're reading. How to act in the lunch room, somebody drops something that you help them pick it up. And it reduces judgment, it reduces behavior that requires discipline, and it really helps create empathy, understanding, and maybe most of all care.
Yeah. You know, one thing that you talked about in there, and it's something that we obviously here at Barry-Wehmiller have a strong opinion about, is the importance of listening. Could you talk a little bit more about how important that has been to your curriculum in integrating all of these ideas to teach leadership?
Absolutely. So we teach that listening is probably one of the primary leadership skills. We believe that listening, again, leads to care, care creates relationships, trust is built. And so we've had the Our Community Listens class, and offered it here on campus, I was trained to become a facilitator years ago. And we... Gosh, my door's been beat down by my colleagues. We've had 63 of my colleagues go through, and we have a commitment to take all that are able through our community lessons class, but then the next two years the challenge of remote learning have certainly been a part of that. But we understand that every person has the capacity to lead, and if you have the capacity to lead, you have the capacity to listen.
And so to learn to listen, requires patience as we know, and part of leadership development is practice. So we can't expect a child or an adult to know how to listen, we have to teach them how to listen. And so if we teach them how to listen carefully, and really silence their own, really their own voice, that kind of goes in their head, then ultimately it does create that understanding. So we've even had a listening project in the eighth grade, where we did a book, and it's been pretty successful and pretty fun. Where within the advisories, the eighth grade students had to learn how to interview each other. They ask silly questions, such as, "If you could have any view from your bedroom window, what would it be?"
So if you and I were comparing notes on that, after sharing what our bedroom view would be, then we'd learn about each other and maybe what's important. We learned to prompt, and ask more questions that involve the understanding component versus the response component. So we really do ask students to try not to share their own stories, but instead listen to the person that's talking. This is also part of the culture of Latin, I'll give you a great example that happened not long ago. I teach a senior leadership class, as a second semester elective for seniors in high school, [inaudible] every day.
And after we had the riot on the Capitol, our headmaster or head of school, sent out a note to the faculty and staff, encouraging us to let our students have some time in class the next day to talk through it, to let them speak to one another, to speak to us. And I was so enchanted with my own students, because they wanted to talk, but they wanted to hear about what happened, they sort of felt like they had this emotion that needed to come out. But as I would sort of shepherd them, as I would call it sort of between the guardrails and try to keep them in a lane, and try to avoid speculation and judgment, because it was all very new information that next morning. And we would ask, "Where did you see this? Why do you think this happened?"
Or if someone declared a statement about what they either saw or read or heard, we would talk about, "Where did you get that information, and why does it matter to speak with discernment?" In this case, discernment would be that it's not just your opinion, but it's something that happened. And there's a place for opinion, I certainly believe that. But this particular class, as a result of some of that conversation, some of that discourse. And a call it a civil discourse, call it civil dialogue, that they have learned how to listen. And it certainly doesn't mean that everyone needs to have the same opinion, and in fact, we encourage people to have their own, like I said. But it does allow you to listen and learn, listen and understand, listen and care.
And I've had apologies come from these students to one another, because they made assumptions that turned out to be invalid. We've talked about not only situational leadership, but people make assumptions about how a particular student may live their lives, maybe what their political views are, it doesn't really matter as long as you're able to share and learn from the other person. So we've had it at the adult level, through Our Community Listens classes. We certainly have it in the classes that we teach. Really the entire community has become devoted to the philosophy of listening, and we also know that part of that philosophy involves silence, right? So silence is tough when you have something you want to share, something you want to jump in on. And so for the students to learn to quiet themselves again, and to almost look at those non-verbals to sit back and just to wait, it's been great growth.
And if you can start that in the second grade, we're already seeing this amazing trajectory that these students have, because they know that it creates care, they know that it allows relationships to flourish, and that's not to say we're successful at it at all the time. But we're even having our students go home, and lead the same initiatives that we might lead with them here at school with their families. And maybe that whole dinner table dynamic can change, as a result of a student or a child telling their parents, or asking their parents, to listen to something that they did, and then in turn share their own perspective.
You know, I'm curious with your involvement within Our Community Listens, you've seen all the ends of the spectrum. You would think that it would be more difficult to teach children how to listen, because most people think of kids as kids, you know, they're kids, they want to play, they're easily distracted, but do you think it's easier to teach listening to children or adults?
I think it's both/and, I think each group probably has its own challenges. So I think about when we're teaching self-awareness to a third grader, and I show a third grader an image up on the board of an adult with a cellphone in their hand, and they're looking down, every child in that room can tell a story about their parents on a cell phone, whether it's in the grocery store line, whether it's their parent works from home, whether it's while they're sitting at the table or in a restaurant, they recognize that a lot of times adults are distracted by their phones, and usually these children don't have one. So they can talk to us about trying to get their parents to listen sometimes, or get an adult to listen. And there's even codes right now, "If I touch my mom's arm while she's on the phone, she knows I really need her." Or, "I'm learning to be patient and wait."
So when we teach listening in the lower school, I think the challenge is that children are wiggly. They like to wiggle, but they also love to share, and they love for those aha moments to be shared. And so when you provide an activity that's fun, and then you allow them to share their learning, they recognize that that listening that they've just done, allows them to share and then connect, the challenge is their age, right? So we have to make sure that every initiative is developmentally appropriate. And that while we might push them a little bit, we try to create an environment where we know they're learning and they're growing, that growth is really important. I think through OCL and teaching adults to listen, what we do, if as an adult, we recognize in retrospect that we're maybe not a great listener, it allows for that opportunity to change and to grow. We know the course has enhanced relationships and marriages and families and professions.
Some of the things we've heard from our participants in terms of listening is that, just by virtue of taking the course, that our parent teacher conferences have changed. So the adult in my class may learn to listen differently, and improve their listening skills. And we have our lower school faculty in particular coming back, and saying that the parent teacher conference foundation was completely changed, instead of having to do most of the talking and potentially being defensive, that the parents now do the talking and the partnership has been restored. We've had adults in our class come back and say that, this is almost the best inclusion training they'd ever had, because by listening, it demonstrates that everyone belongs.
We've also had adults say that they now feel more connected to the Latin community, that they've heard from those participants. And while it might be involved in that confidentiality [inaudible] where it was spoken, those relationships continue to be fostered. I think maybe some of the other more profound outcomes of listening with adults that are challenging, is learning that that conflict can really just be turned upside down into a conversation. And even with colleagues, there can be repairs made and healing made to a relationship. So I think the more specific answer to your question, is the challenge with children is getting them to do it. Because they wiggle and they like to talk, but we teach them that, that talking has a place, and that listening has a place.
I think with adults what we learn is that it's a very transformative skill, and that they recognize bad behavior or poor behavior or behavior from the past that they would like to change, and it gives them a new launching point to listen, not only at work, but at home. And that's really what community is all about, we know we have the skills that we're teaching here, but we want them to permeate outside our campus. We want this to go home.
With all of the stuff that you guys are doing, with all the curriculum that you've implemented, how do you measure its success? Because it seems like some of these things are kind of intangible, it's hard to quantify, so how do you measure the success that you're having teaching leadership to your students?
I love that question. So leadership is hard to measure, and metrics around empirical data, if you will on behavior are really difficult to quantify yet. We're figuring out kind of how to do that. If we know that by honoring yourself and being self-aware, that you start recognizing your own patterns of thought and behavior, and that we are trying to teach and encourage not only civility, but empathy and inclusion. And that we also know that we're trying to connect our students, not only to the academic classroom, but also to their world beyond. And to collaborate, we start measuring it through through behaviors. So we might look at a second grade class, who's been practicing what it means to be responsible, and a teacher might recognize that students are not leaving things at home as much anymore.
That they're not losing things from their desk, that when they walk down the hallways, and they've been asked to be quiet so that the other teachers could have the doors open, that there's a progression as they recognize that that's responsible behavior, and therefore you know it's leadership. When we start seeing people, or students include other students that they might not again on the playground or at a lunch table. When we see how they respond to an adult, again, with curiosity, or that either may be curious, we take these attributes and we start saying, "Are we seeing positive changes and difference through the things that we're trying to teach?" And if we're teaching them to be self-aware, which is, really as I said earlier, I think good leadership is rooted in that, then we start paying attention to whether or not they can own their mistakes, whether they own their successes as well.
What becomes important to them? Can they almost congratulate themselves on the back without talking about it, if they hold a door? Or if they ask if someone needs help? Or they walk another student to the nurse? Different behaviors like that. As the students age, and as we look at how we've scaffolded these attributes, we start paying attention to the way they respond to one another. So if I have a group of seventh or eighth graders out on our challenge course, we might learn over time as we pay attention whether or not they're being innovative or strategic, or if they're paying attention to other people's perspectives, we might start noticing that they don't put their opinions above those of others, that they might actually pose the question, "Does anyone have another idea?"
Where they might say, "I have an idea, but I'll wait until someone else speaks first." They might congratulate another student for thinking of something that was really out of the box. By the time that they're in high school, we might see them through behaviors step out of their own comfort zone, they might participate in a wilderness course. They might create a collaborative, they might found a club based on a passion that they have. We have let our upper school students lead our all schools service learning initiatives for the past few years. You know, it's a lot easier to do it ourselves, but we believe that there's nothing an adults to do on our campus that could be accomplished by a student.
So really that student voice and paying attention when they're in high school, if we watch the trajectory of that and we see that it's improving. And by measured by us, by saying, you know, because of the relationships we have with our students, that we're really seeing a specific child choose behaviors from a place of empathy versus a place of judgment, then we recognize that that we're making an impact. But we do also know that this has to go home, and so that parent school partnership is really important to us. And it's become the philosophy of the school.
You talked a lot about Our Community Listens earlier, which clearly would connect you to Barry-Wehmiller, since it's Bob and Cynthia Chapman's non-profit, tell me a little bit about how you kind of met Bob and became connected to Bob, and how we've kind of become involved with you guys recently?
When Everybody Matters was published, several of us had read it, seen it, heard about Bob, and we had this really remarkable moment where we recognized that we had some of his grandchildren that's sending school here. We couldn't believe it. And I mean, we love his families that live here, his children have families who live here. But we invited through our development office, Bob down to come meet us, talk to us, talk about his book, talk about his philosophy on leadership. And it was pivotal, it was a remarkable but short visit. And we knew we needed to know more, we knew we were aligned with his philosophy and his message, and that it seemed like a great place for us to be mentored and learn. And so we recognize that Our Community Listens was offered here through a church at that point.
And so I went and took the class, and like everybody else, it was life changing for me. And then our former head of school Arch Macintosh and I came up to St. Louis, and we took Inspire Like A Leader. But in the meantime, I was trained to become a facilitator, Professor is what it was called at the time to teach the course, and our school made a commitment that we would teach it here on campus and allow our faculty and staff, our adult community to participate when they could. The remarkable thing about that was that always had more applicants than folks I could take in the class, and keeping those numbers reasonable we know is really important. And so we began that commitment and going down that road with Bob. And then I guess, really one of the more meaningful outcomes in the last couple of years as I began, we began looking at Our Community Listens curriculum, and recognizing that there was a way to inject this into education, that it wasn't just designed for manufacturing plants or corporations.
It wasn't designed necessarily for strangers to come into a community facility and learn, that it could be adapted a school like ours and presented with some stories, and some of the role plays being more like an educational institution. At the same time, Bob was on this amazing mission to begin changing the perspective of education, and what it looks like and the healing power that education could have for our world. And he was working with the education department at Barry-Wehmiller, as well as many other folks, he talks about [inaudible] so often, and the upper level, the university level educators. I think it's also important to mention that this philosophy of educating the whole child can't just exist in the classroom and on the campus, it does have to be endorsed by the board of trustees.
And so Bob was able to meet with our board chair, Denny O'Leary while he was here and she didn't even blink. And of course, this is the philosophy that our board believes in. And so to have the board support or endorsement, to know that our faculty and staff believe this message, that this is where our students live, every day, this is what the alumni of our school need to understand as well. And that our families are part of this journey, that it's not, again, just something that lives in isolation while we have their students or their children in our care during the day, but that it really is a partnership and a relationship to this philosophy. So part of the relationship that we built with Bob, really allowed us to sort of open our eyes to the fact that it did not need to wait until higher ed, that this all could really be happening at a much lower age level.
And I was creating lessons just taken right out of OCL for our younger students, starting in the lower school. A lot of the activities that I described before, where listening and conflict resolution, even understanding your own communication style, understanding what it was like on [inaudible]. So how did you hear other people? How did you listen? How did you show up in the world, and how did you communicate? All these lessons could really be broken down into more simplified, and more age appropriate lessons. So we continued working with Bob in that direction, and as we did, this philosophy of changing the world through care, educating the whole child is something that we contend, and we feel like we do every single day, trying to match wellness and care and listening and leadership with our academics.
And so this alignment with Barry-Wehmiller and with Bob's hope just became extremely obvious. And so we've been working with Bob and many members of the team, on making sure that we get this message as broadly distributed as possible, so that other educational institutions will learn that the message is simple, the commitment is what it takes. And it's like any commitment to anything else within a school, once you do it and it becomes easy, it becomes habit. It becomes part of the culture of just the language, and the beliefs that an institution has. And so, while Bob will tell you all day long that his relationship with Latin is not because of his grandchildren, we certainly hope as an institution to make him proud that they are here, because this is, this is the way we educate. We know that education doesn't just happen in the classroom, and relationships are really the foundation of Charlotte Latin School. Student to student, student to teacher, and then student and teachers to the community beyond.
So I think our beliefs and our philosophies have aligned, and we're ready to reach other schools and way beyond Charlotte Latin. Bob is going to speak at the Index Conference, which is an independent school exchange, that's I think it's between 200 and 300 heads of school and CFOs from independent schools nationally. Really Bob's mission for this talk is how education can heal the world. So that's really the message that he's planning to convey, and much of that is going to be through the work that we are doing here at Latin, again, at all grade levels. But how education can heal the world, and it's something that we believe, because as I mentioned earlier, we believe in educating the whole child, and that education is so that they can go out and live lives of meaning and purpose to serve others.
And so if that's the philosophy, and that's what he's going to speak to, then really the goal... And what we'd like to do is to be able to convey that, if you're willing to sort of go on the journey with us as educators, that we can show you how, we at Charlotte Latin can be sort of a beacon to demonstrate what this looks like, how it works, and that as I said earlier, it's really not that hard. It's how we communicate, it's how we care, it's how we inspire, it's really how we live.